(WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!!)
We’re over halfway-there, now; the release of The Q Gambit #38 (Issue 4) ratchets-up the drama, as this alternate-timeline adventure goes into overdrive! It’s no secret, that Deep Space Nine is my favorite series, but to have it coupled with the ‘Prime Universe’ Kirk and crew, along with Q, too, has me feeling giddy! I’m loving this fresh, imaginative story from Mike Johnson and Tony Shasteen.
The story thus-far: Q has thrown Kirk and crew forward 150 years, in an attempt to teach Kirk a lesson about no-win scenarios. While Kirk goes to the Klingon Colony of Earth with Ben Sisko, Spock and McCoy are left on DS9; which is commanded by Gul Dukat and Dominion Forces. At the conclusion of Issue 3, Kirk and Sisko are meeting with Worf, when the Founders crash the party, killing Worf. Meanwhile, on Bajor, Spock and Bones meet Kira Nerys…
Issue 4, opens with Kira telling Spock and the good doctor about the tablet she has possession of: it contains the spirits of a Pah-Wraith and and a Prophet spirit; she hopes to free the Prophet to aid them. We learn that the Dominion has allied itself with the Pah-Wraiths and their might is too much for the Free Federation forces to conquer. Quark, betrays them, turning them over to Garak and his Cardassian troops. On Earth, Kirk and Sisko are about to be taken-out by the Founders; they are saved by Lt. O’brien and Capt. Keiko, just in the nick-of-time. Kirk, Sisko, Odo, Uhura and Scotty escape Earth aboard the Defiant, but they’re being pursued by three Klingon Birds of Prey. A surprise visit from a taunting Q, a snap of his fingers, and Kirk sees the Enterprise (which, he has asked Sisko to help him recover), has been commandeered by Cardassians. Kirk has had enough, demanding Q to tell him what he wants from him, but you know Q… Back on DS9, or – rather, Terok Nor, Dukat has the tablet, as-well-as Kira, Spock and Bones in his clutches. After some petty bickering from both sides, Dukat smashes the tablet, releasing the Prophet and Pah-Wraith spirits…
Mike Johnson and Tony Shasteen continue to up-the-stakes, bringing us one-helluva tale, with art that is out of the park. I love the Klingon temple in downtown San Francisco, the pool of magenta blood pooling around Worf’s dead body, or – the stunning visuals of the Defiant and Terok Nor; just check out that shot of the Enterprise docked there on one of its pylons. It’s such a treat to see Tony’s uncanny likenesses in panel, after – panel, as he brings Mike Johnson’s story to these pages. His accuracy is just amazing. And, Mike has managed to keep our characters to their true-selves, despite the differences in this universe: Sisko is believable, as he tries to bring order back to the Alpha Quadrant (sans his Emissary title); Kira is still a resistance fighter and just as fiery and passionate in her cause; Quark, well… he’s Quark… But, Mike knows these beloved characters and he writes them so well. I can actually see this story playing-out, as an episode. To me, the writing is essential to get the ‘voices’ of the characters right, but the true key to a comic book’s success is the art: Mike and Tony have clinched it, forming a phenomenal team that makes it all come together.
Once-again, Tony Shasteen’s cover is terrific! As usual, it’s vibrant and colorful, while giving clues as to what’s in-store. Take this issue: Dukat’s lifeless gray eye really creeps me out; but you see he’s holding the tablet and wearing that evil smirk. That can’t be good, right? I love the Klingon Bird of Prey and the Dominion ships rising-up from the fire and smoke, too! Plus, it’s refreshing to see Odo in something, other-than the drab beige and browns we’re accustomed to.
I’m pleased with the continuance of the OPEN CHANNELS pages, as Sarah Gaydos, Mike Johnson and Tony Shasteen answer questions from us, the faithful, inquiring fans, about the story, art and the direction this series is taking. It’s quite informative, and I’m glad to see the positive feedback. Be sure to read Tony’s explanation, about how he brings his art to life.
The Q Gambit has really swept-me-up. I’m looking forward to next month, as the cover focuses on Kirk and Sisko. What options does Kirk really have? Will the Pah-Wraith and Prophet spirits inhabit any of our favorite characters? What is this ‘paradise’ Sisko has spoken of? And, what of the Klingons? We’ll just have to wait-it-out, I suppose…
‘Til, next-time, see ya ‘out there…’
Lt. Eric Cone